How do you naturalize a yard so you don't need to mow?


I own 8 acres of land and want to naturalize it so I don't have to mow it all. With that being said, I would like to keep approximately 1 - 1 1/2 acres of yard. The rest I would like to go back to a natural state. However, I have a lot of deer and I don't want my property to look messy. Any ideas that don't cost a ton of money.

  5 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 06, 2019

    Hi Annette, I have six acres and am in the same boat as you I think its pretty silly to mow a ton of yard that's not being used for much of anything. Its so much better for the environment to let it go back to its natural state. This is what I found in my yard that seems to make it look "right" at a glance (as opposed to messy) and that's end points for the eye to stop at. Meaning: fences, rocks, borders etc. anything that can create a stopping point for the mower and the eye so anything after that can just be woods or whatever.

  • Annette Annette on Mar 06, 2019

    Thank you for your suggestions. Any chance you could share a picture?

  • Hi Annette,

    I think a lot of what needs to be done is dependent on the local climate and what the natural ecosystem would support. If the area was originally grass land I would consider planting a food plot for your dear. Additionally you could also research how to return land to grasslands or forestry. I know here in Michigan, the DNR has free educational resources available online for landowners looking to return land to its natural state. Good luck.

  • Lucky you! I would be jumping for joy to have that much beautiful space. Look into Xeriscaping. Can be done in any part of the country, and can be done over time as budget permits. Xeriscaping uses low maintenance native plantings. I would turn it into a park like area with meandering paths with benches strategically placed.

    With 8 acres, I would have a cutting garden, a vegetable garden, and a small orchard of fruit trees that will do well in your zone.

  • Oliva Oliva on Mar 06, 2019

    Given the problem with "wasting disease "among deer, I'd look to your local county extension agent, a master gardener, or a university with an agricultural program for advice on local plants and trees that are the most deer resistant.

    In S.W. PA., deer tend to avoid herbs such as rosemary, lavender, sages, artemesia, coreopsis, yarrow, and drifts of iris, daffodils, euphorbias, etc.